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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2005


SBS COMMISSIONER WALSH ANNOUCES AGREEMENT TO INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR FIRMS TO CERTIFY WITH THE CITY

New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced that the City and the New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (the Council) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will increase the certification of minority-owned businesses. Under the agreement, businesses certified by the Council as a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) will receive expedited approval of their certification applications with the City.

“Mayor Bloomberg made a strong commitment to increasing opportunities for minority-owned business when he signed Executive Order 36 in June 2003, and this agreement is yet another step toward that goal,” said SBS Commissioner Walsh. “With the City and the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council working together, it will make it easier for eligible businesses to certify and access a wide variety of benefits. I thank the Council for its partnership in our objective to make New York City a place where all minority-owned businesses can thrive.”

I am very pleased and proud that the City of New York and the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council will now be eligible for Fast Track certifications,” said Lynda Ireland, President of the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council. “This will now enable Council-certified suppliers to increase their contracting opportunities in the public sector, while also creating a vehicle for the City to expand its supplier database.”   The MOU is a formal agreement between SBS and the Council to increase and promote the utilization of minority-owned businesses by City agencies. Mayor Bloomberg signed Executive Order 36 to stimulate the City’s assistance program for Minority- and Women-owned Businesses Enterprises (M/WBE) to create greater access to contracting opportunities, better prepare firms to compete for City contracts, and help them navigate the procurement process. SBS simplified certification, developed an easy to use online directory of M/WBE firms that helps both City agencies and private entities identify qualified firms to compete for contracts, and added more M/WBE companies to the City’s list through cooperative working relationships with additional City/State agencies, private entities and additional outreach efforts. The M/WBE Online Directory is located at www.nyc.gov/sbs.

The Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for companies in New York City to form, do business and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, promoting financial and economic opportunity among minority- and women-owned businesses, preparing New Yorkers for jobs and linking employers with a skilled and qualified workforce.



  Contact: Benjamin Branham (212) 513-6318